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Major investment in MAX IV by Wallenberg Foundation

Press Release Number: 
Monday, October 4, 2010

Now the planned MAX IV synchrotron radiation facility in Lund has received additional financial backing. The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has decided to grant SEK 400 million for world-leading experiment stations for research on biomolecules, materials and nanoparticles, among other things, at the planned facility. The announcement comes just a few days after the state funding bodies gave the go-ahead to start building.

“This is great news and crucial for scientific development at the facility. Research groups around the country can now start on the detailed planning and construction of the world-leading experiment stations, to be completed by 2015 when the facility is ready. The news will also prove strong encouragement to other stakeholders and countries to invest in MAX IV”, says chair of the MAX IV laboratory board Professor Lars Börjesson.

Lund University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Per Eriksson, is also pleased at the decision:

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the confidence that the Wallenberg Foundation has placed in us”, he says. “With the most concentrated light from Lund, we want to be of use to both research and the business sector in our country and internationally.”

“We think that MAX IV has the potential to develop into a world-class facility that will benefit Swedish research”, says Vice-Chair of the Wallenberg Foundation Peter Wallenberg Jr.

The grant is intended to fund at least six experiment stations. Swedish universities and research institutes are expected to cover 25% of the costs. The Foundation expects a list to be drawn up prioritising which experiment stations will be built by next spring.

The Foundation has earmarked a further SEK 60 million to be used for skills development for young researchers. They will be given opportunities to work abroad at world-leading laboratories within the field of synchrotron radiation, to then return and enrich the research at MAX IV. This is a new approach in this context, and one for which MAX-lab’s management has high hopes.

“The Foundation’s grant makes it possible for MAX IV to take a leading position internationally in fields such as nanotechnology, structural biology and materials science. In terms of new materials, a lot of work is carried out at MAX-lab with materials within energy engineering”, says Nils Mårtensson.

Background: MAX-lab is today a national laboratory that delivers synchrotron radiation, i.e. intensive X-ray radiation, to a large number of researchers in a broad range of research fields. MAX IV will be significantly larger and its performance will be world leading. The facility will comprise a 250-metre long electron accelerator and two storage rings, the larger of which will have a circumference of 528 m. The synchrotron radiation will be sent out from the ring to the facility’s various research stations, where experiments will be carried out on biomolecules, functional materials, nanostructures, etc. The construction of MAX IV will begin in the autumn in north-east Lund and the facility will be completed in early 2015.

For further information, please contact:

  • Chair of the MAX IV laboratory board, Professor Lars Börjesson,, tel. +46 (0)707 535307
  • Director of MAX-lab, Professor Nils Mårtensson,, tel. +46 (0)46 2229695
  • Vice-Chair of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Peter Wallenberg Jr, tel. +46 (0)8 54501780
  • Executive member of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Professor Göran Sandberg,, tel. +46 (0)703 181275

The original news release in English can be found here.

The original news release in Swedish can be found here